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Making The Recipe Contest Episode

Hot Kitchen - Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Smoked Gouda Mac n Cheese recipes

Snapshot of Episode #75 Dinner

Episode #75 was special as it was our first recipe contest episode. We put out a call on facebook for viewers to send us their favorite date night recipes.

The prizes were free copies of our e-cookbook Date Night at Home, and winning recipes would be featured on the show and crosslinked through the blog and credits.

Our winners:
Chef Chris Nicholson's Roasted Salmon with Tomato Avocado Salsa

Mamma Ozzy's Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

John's Chocolate Souffle

The shoot went very well. We had some comedic moments when I realized I had forgotten a couple of ingredients, but thanks to a well-stocked pantry we were able to make workarounds!

I'll tell you about them because they are funny, and you might learn something, as I did.

The first was that we needed a little sweet liqueur to drizzle over the souffles. When shopping I forgot to go to the liquor store—duh!! So with a little coconut milk, honey, coffee, and 151 rum, I magically made "coffee cream liqueur." It worked perfectly, in fact, it was a dead ringer for some nicer coffee cream liqueurs I have tasted.

The other workaround was that I forgot freakin' jalapenos for the avocado salsa. (Really?!) By the time we realized the omission, it was about 1 a.m., and the store was closed. However, I did just have a little pepper fest, so I had dehydrated jalapenos! I rehydrated the prettiest one. It came back perfectly. The pepper was seeded, chopped, and added to the salsa with no degradation of flavor!

The result was incredible food and a near-flawless show. As a bonus, We saved money by being creative and maintaining a stocked pantry.

The 151, by the way, is an absolute must in our Hot Kitchen. We don't drink it; it is exclusively for lighting food on fire and as a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants liqueur maker.

Dried peppers are another absolute must in the kitchen. They are a pain because they must be rehydrated, but WOW are dried peppers a culinary lifesaver.

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